Steady solitary and generalized solitary waves of a two-fluid problem where the upper layer is under a flexible elastic sheet are considered as a model for internal waves under an ice-covered ocean. The fluid consists of two layers of constant densities, separated by an interface. The elastic sheet resists bending forces and is mathematically described by a fully nonlinear thin shell model. Fully localized solitary waves are computed via a boundary integral method. Progression along the various branches of solutions shows that barotropic (i.e. surface modes) wave-packet solitary wave branches end with the free surface approaching the interface. On the other hand, the limiting configurations of long baroclinic (i.e. internal) solitary waves are characterized by an infinite broadening in the horizontal direction. Baroclinic wave-packet modes also exist for a large range of amplitudes and generalized solitary waves are computed in a case of a long internal mode in resonance with surface modes. In contrast to the pure gravity case (i.e without an elastic cover), these generalized solitary waves exhibit new Wilton-ripple-like periodic trains in the far field.
Issn1364-5021 (Print) 1471-2946 (Electronic)
JournaltitleProceedings. Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences / The Royal Society